President’s New Stance on Immigration

President’s New Stance on Immigration

Earlier this week, Mr. Trump gave his first address to a joint session of Congress. A few hours before this speech, Trump made statements at the White House, suggesting legal status be granted to undocumented communities who have not committed any serious crimes. This radically contradicts the president’s rhetoric during his campaign, and is unclear if or how he will follow through with these claims. Later in his address to Congress, however, he suggested implementing a merit-based immigration system, similar to the system used in Canada, and made no mention of giving status to undocumented communities.

Current US immigration policy focuses more on family-based residency. In 2014, 64% of new permanent legal residents were sponsored family members of US citizens or residents, and 15% of new legal permanent residents were employment-based.

Merit-based immigration systems put more emphasis on values such as skill-level, employability, and education. Those who favor this system claim that exclusively admitting immigrants of higher education and employment will relieve a burden on public resources. Critics say however, that there is no guarantee that substituting people with higher skill levels and education will increase wages or employment opportunity in the US. Ultimately, speculation of this type of system comes from both sides of the aisle.

To learn more about the president’s public comments on immigration and merit-based systems, follow the links below.

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